The World Cup final takes place in Moscow on July 15, but Prime Minister Theresa May could be forgiven for wishing it was brought forward two days.
The 13 July 2018 is when Ms May is welcoming US President Donald Trump to the UK, and a World Cup final that distracts the public and the media would certainly be helpful.
The Prime Minister has a difficult, some would argue impossible, balancing act to pull off when the former Apprentice USA host comes to the UK.
As fury across the world mounts over the President’s latest controversy, the treatment of immigrant children at the US border, Theresa May knows there is a political price to pay for appearing too close to Donald Trump.
However, there is also a price for Ms May to appear distant with Trump, notoriously ego driven and always conscious of the optics of any visit.
Trump has worked best with leaders who have rolled out the red carpet for his visit, such as Saudi Arabia, China, and even North Korea.
We look at the controversy surrounding the visit, and what impact the President’s arrival will have, especially in Scotland, where he is rumoured to be planning to go.
Donald Trump, presumably to his ire, will not be afforded the full ‘state visit’ that other heads of state, including US Presidents, have had in the past.
The former businessman is instead on a ‘working visit’ which will see him hold smaller scale meetings and dinners, and, crucially, will meet the Queen.
Her Majesty has met all but one of the US Presidents who have served during her reign, and there has been considerable diplomatic angst on both sides about how badly a meeting between the two could go, given Trump’s history of crude comments, including about members of the Royal Family.
He is also expected to meet with the Prime Minister at Chequers, her official country retreat, where talks are almost certainly going to be frank, and not necessarily constructive.
Donald Trump may well avoid the UK’s capital city.
The sight of mass protests hasn’t troubled Donald Trump on visits thus far, but London would be an entirely different story.
Political parties and activists are undeterred by the fact that a Presidential motorcade is unlikely to pass through London, and are planning mass protests in the capital and other major cities across the UK.
Politicians will almost certainly speak at the events, heaping more political pressure on Theresa May as she rolls out the red carpet for arguably the most controversial world leader in power today.
The Scottish angle
Donald Trump’s links with Scotland are well known (his mother is from the Hebrides), but if, as expected, the President makes a visit North of the border, his reception will be decidedly chilly.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has shown no inclination to meet the President and his criticised Theresa May’s approach to the impending visit.
Protests in Scotland will take place in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and, should Donald Trump alight there, will also be held as near to Trump’s Turnberry golf course as security considerations will allow.
Trump’s candidacy garnered no shortage of protests, from the biting and funny (like the George Square placard reading ‘Your Maw was an immigrant ya roaster’) to the brutal (comedian Janey Godley’s now infamous ‘Trump is a c***’ sign).
The actions of his time in office will only serve to inspire more anger, with the most recent controversy over the separation of immigrant families at the border only hardening the resolve of many to let Trump know exactly how unpopular he is in the country where his mother Mary grew up.
With the days counting down to the visit, all the preparations are in place for politicians on both sides, diplomats, and protesters, and yet if we know one thing about President Donald Trump, it is that he will almost certainly find some way to surprise us all on his first official visit to the UK.